tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC February 14, 2013 10:00am-11:00am EST
and good morning, i'm richard lui in for chris jansing. right now the president heads out to sell his new policies to the american people. he'll visit a preschool class outside of atlanta, georgia, to push universal pre-k, but there was another pressing issue, a sequester. the senate appropriations committee is about to hear testimony from cabinet members about the impact of those harsh automatic cuts. live pictures right there. and on capitol hill, it feels a lot like the blame game. take a listen. >> the american people are tired of it. all they hear about is crises, crises, crises. >> and the president last night said that the sequester was a bad idea. well, mr. president, the sequester was your idea. >> and the president laid out no plan to eliminate the sequester and the harmful cuts that will come as a result of it. >> we're not in control of the house of representatives, we don't control the agenda or the schedule. but if it were up to democrats, we would stay in town and get our work done.
>> i want to bring in chicago sun times washington bureau chief and dana millbank. i'll start with you, lynn. the new line from republicans, as we just heard, this is the president's sequester. and as they try to move that message forward, are they setting this up? giving him the blame when these cuts go through? >> i think real people, real people will just think congress takes ownership of the mess and won't care about blame. this is a self-inflicted wound, doesn't have to happen. the answer may be, by the way, as a practical matter just taking this budget issue and cuts just down the road more, which is what congress does best. >> all right. this is what the president said yesterday. let's take a listen. >> we've got to stop with some of the politics that we see in washington sometimes that's focused on who's up, who's down. let's focus on the same kind of common sense and cooperation that we're seeing at this plant and we see all across the country.
>> all right. so there he is in north carolina, talking about common sense. that sounds pretty simple to most. but how tough is it to go out there, talk to the american people about these proposals, the sequesters out there as we talked about. when you're still trying to figure out immigration, you've got gun control and the sequester. >> well, richard, this is here inside the beltway is a common sense free zone. what the president is saying makes perfect sense to most americans. but it's just not how it's being done here right now. very few people are optimistic that we'll get to the months end with something achieved here. it's almost as if the crisis has to occur first before congress can take some sort of an action. it's almost like, you know, they had to go over the fiscal cliff before they could do this. the terminology changes. now we have to let the sequester happen before they can address it. and as lynn said, the most likely solution even then is just another temporary fix here. it just seems like they cannot
get their act together on this, much less on something more controversial like gun control. >> will that messaging work, dana? that we were just talking about. where it's the president's sequester? >> they've been trying to do that for some time. and, yes, the president signed the bill, but guess what? the republicans voted for it. so the voters will say on both your houses. the president in the polls has come out better than congress repeatedly because he can deliver the sort of message you just played. >> one other quick thing, richard. >> go ahead, yeah. >> even if by some long shot the republicans let obama own the sequester, it's such a horrible jargon word, no one out there who doesn't know the inner workings of congress will probably know exactly what it means anyway. >> they'll go after whoever's closest to them. the blame seems to be going toward -- >> i want to talk about some of those things in the president's
education plan. there's a call for a new federal state partnership to give low and moderate income 4-year-olds access to preschools. that's a big one. there's a new investment and grants for head start. also, there's a part there that says expand a voluntary home visit program to connect more families with nurses, social workers and other professionals. what do you think here? of those, what parts can they get through? >> well, i would think that the one of these ambitious plans, the ones that might have the most buy in would be expanding -- making almost as a right for youngsters preschool. right now headstart programs across the nation help only those children of the most poorest parents. what the obama plan is to make almost as a right this kind of preschool available to every kid in the nation. the cost they say, well, will be covered much debate about that. but i think that's one that
would just have an appeal that would cross every political boundary because parents think they could get a break on that, that might be the easiest sell. but i think it's still a very long shot because it's just going to be a big program. headstart has trouble getting funding every year as it is. >> all right. i want to bring in, please stand by, just for a second, i want to bring in a democrat from california. and let's continue with this subject of the education plan coming from the president. the white house makes this case here representative that without high-quality education at risk kids are 25% more likely to drop out of school, 40% more likely to become a teen parent, 60% more likely never to attend college and 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. what on the other side do you think can be said? what will republicans say? and what will the most effective argument they will make against this? especially when you see such
overwhelming statistics? >> well, they'll make the argument we don't have the money. that's really the argument that has launched against all the president's initiatives, but i think the president makes a compelling case. that when we look at what we're going to need to do to improve our economy. it's not only attracting jobs here, but giving our people the skills to get those jobs, keep those jobs, to compete globally. that requires an early start. we're in a hypercompetitive, very small world which rewards added value and we need the best trained workforce in the world. and you can't do that if you're starting off young and early and behind. so -- but i think the gop argument is it's not an important enough investment and we don't have the money. >> and what would your counter argument be then to cost given the realities of what we're looking at with the debt and the deficit. >> well, you know, really the president's argument resinates with me and i think with the american people. and that is, yes, we have a deficit and debt problem and we
have to deal with it and we are dealing with it although with a lot of dysfunction here in congress. but at the same time, we can't strip ourselves of investments we need to make for america's future. if our only goal is deficit reduction, we can do it, but we can do it with a loss of jobs, do it with another recession, do it with loss of competitiveness. or we can do it in a smart way where we do it gradually, where we don't do it in a way that interferes with our ability to educate our people and compete on the world stage. so there is a good way to do this and a bad way to do this. i think the president would say let's do this in a smart way. >> i want to get your reaction here, representative, another part of the president's plan a federal state partnership to help foster good ideas on education. i want to play with your colleague said about that earlier. take a listen. >> many times we're hearing from the states they would rather get rid of all federal intervention into education and focus on letting the states, the counties, the cities, the local school sites handle the
education issues. what we're doing with federal intervention is not working. >> what's your thought? >> well, you know, certainly some of the things the federal government has done over the years haven't been all that successful. and the white house and many democrats in congress are trying to bring about a new approach. and part of what the president talked about in the state of the union is anew approach. but there are some things the federal government is better off doing than others. one of the things, frankly, i think would be a great role for the federal government in education is to help provide some of the resources for infrastructure, for building new schools. it doesn't get the federal government involved in curriculum, but rather in helping with deferred maintenance and helping to build these facilities. that doesn't interfere with that state federal role. but there is an important obligation here to try to help, particularly in those states that are really struggling. i think my colleague ms. blackburn would like to see the federal government out of everything. and a much diminished federal government and we see that
reflected in the gop budget, which would cut food stamps and would cut medicare and would cut most of the safety net programs that americans rely on. so it's part in parcel of that for the gop, but i think for democrats, there is a recognition of the limited role, but being strategic about how we support the states in education. >> i want to switch gears really quickly if we can and talk about the subject we began with with lynn and dana and that's about the sequester. congress is off next week, on a break as you know. when you look at the sequester, senate democrats are expected to announce their plan to avoid the sequester, showing that according to one report it's a 50/50 split over the next ten months, spending cuts and new taxes, part of their idea, including the buffett rule, which is the cap deductions and loopholes for millionaires so they pay at least 30% of their salaries in taxes. would you support that as we get closer to that deadline? >> yes, and i think the senate is really on the right track. where i would like to end up, and this is actually part of the
internal debate in the senate right now, i'd like to end up at a 50/50 plan where about $4 trillion in deficit reduction we do is about half revenue and about half cuts. we're askew of that right now, we've got about 1.7 trillion we've done in cuts, about 600 billion to 700 billion in new revenues. i'd like to see us end at a point where we're 50/50. i think the president going out to the country and saying this should be a balanced plan about 50/50, the american people agree with that. but as dana and lynn were pointing out, it's going to be hard to get to that here in the congress. and while the american people will just blame congress, and i think that's quite true they won't distinguish so much between the parties, the reality is, democrats have been willing as we've seen from the $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction we've already done to more than meet the gop half way. but the gop's going to have to be a negotiating partner with us and a lot of the fight right here on the hill right now is
not between democrats and republicans. it's between republicans and republicans in the house of representatives. >> they'll be looking at congress and saying democrats or republicans, it's your fault. >> there'll be many that won't discriminate between the two parties. but here on the ground, there is, i think, recognition that within the gop, there's no willingness to enter into a 50/50 arrangement. and for the republican membership maintenance, they have to allow the sequester to go into effect. they're going to take us over this next cliff, but that really is a disservice to the country and just another manmade crises. >> thank you so much for your time today. >> thank you. >> i want to bring lynn and dana back. what's your reaction to the comments you heard there by the representative? the president said let's delay this, put a short-term delay in
for a bit of time. he did that last week, not his front-burner issue right now. he's on the road. does he need to amp up the heat a little here? >> well, i think not because, remember, that obama really wanted just to lift this -- any kind of -- well, no, that was the debt ceiling. here's my point, obama's going to turn up the heat as it gets closer to the deadline. as dana and i have been talking about, we both think the can's going to be kicking down the road anyway and as obama pushes other agenda items in the state of the union, the blame game just doesn't work outside of the capitol. i think people don't understand why congress cannot do a basic job of deciding on what to spend and what to cut. >> they're not watching that minutia is what you're saying. >> right. this is not -- they're not looking at decimal points and the broad theme is dysfunction and gridlock and therefore, i
think, it's just both houses. >> we've seen a very confident president during the recent weeks, we saw the state of the union showing that confidence, that swagger as many have said. not pressing hard to deal with the sequester right now that he thinks maybe that republicans will get the blame here. is that his thought, you think? >> yeah, he's going to let them sweat it out for a little bit. and he's suggesting we move beyond this austerity. and it's time to start thinking of new plans. i think that's getting a little ahead of things, i don't think they're going to get that 50/50 deal that the congressman was just talking about. but he certainly feels he has the advantage now and that's likely true. so he's going to let the republicans sweat it out. >> all right. thank you so much. you both have a great day. >> thank you. just moments ago, senate majority leader harry reid announced the full senate will vote tomorrow on the nomination of chuck hagel as defense secretary. republicans have been threatening a filibuster. it would be the first ever filibuster against someone nominated for defense secretary.
reid is urging republicans to stop playing politics. >> it's shocking that my republican colleagues would leave the nation without a fully empowered secretary of defense during all the things we have going on in the world, including a war. >> republicans say they want more information about the night of the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. we've got a lot of empty cans. all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot.
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battle lines are being drawn over president obama's push to raise the federal minimum wage. speaker john boehner saying the president's plan would actually hurt hiring. but the president took his state of the union plan on the road arguing it'll give struggling families a fighting chance. >> i believe we reward effort and determination with wages that allow working families to
raise their kids and get ahead. because if you work full-time, you shouldn't be in poverty. >> when you've raised the price of employment, guess what happens? you get less of it. at a time when the american people are still asking the question, where are the jobs? why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? >> well, the president wants to hike the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour, that's an increase of about 25%. i'm joined now by washington post economic policy correspondent. good to see you here. and as you know, people would benefit by a hike in minimum wage. but as we heard from john boehner, raising that minimum wage would lead to less hiring, and does that support his argument? >> well, there's a robust debate among economists about this. on the one side, you have exactly the sort of camp that speaker boehner is alluding to. economists who point out that this is basic econ one.
if you force the market to pay a higher price than the market wants to pay, you get less of it. mcdonald's has more automated drive-thrus and less people actually serving you food at the front of the store. on the other hand, there is research including research by the president's chairman of the council of economic advisers on kruger that suggests there are benefits to employment from raising the minimum wage. that's really the sort of fray into which the president and the speaker -- >> what's the silver bullet? the earned income tax credit? >> well the eitc is definitely something many have turned to as an alternative to raising the minimum wage. but there's not much room for that right now. we're in an age where both the president and speaker agree, you don't want to go into any more deficit than we are. and expanding the earned income tax credit would be that, it would be a tax cut for poorer people. >> you know, jim, i actually owned a small business.
i had about 40 employees for a while, and they were all minimum wage earners. when you look at how to cut costs, the major variable has always been at least for many of these is looking at the labor hours. with some of their costs, how could the president or plans help these small businesses to reduce that while encouraging them not to reduce the hours which is so important about what we're talking about right now and the number of employees which is what speaker boehner is saying might happen. >> interesting, this relates to a broader debate about how you get more job creation, how do you reduce the cost of adding new jobs. and one way you could do that is by eliminating some of the costs that government imposes on hiring. for example, an economist who is adviser, is an advocate for eliminating the employer side payroll tax. and if you did that, yeah, you get less revenue, but you also would make it a lot cheaper for employers to add new people, to give them more hours. whatever you want to call it. you get more jobs if the
standard theory holds. >> you know, republicans like the speaker and senator marco rubio, they're saying raising the minimum wage isn't the solution as we've just been saying, but economic growth will actually help the situation that this plan is hoping to help. you've done extensive research on this and wrote a recent article on that. does that work? >> we need more growth. let's be really clear about that, the economy's not growing nearly fast enough and that should be a huge priority of policy makers. but this really ugly phenomenon has developed over the last 20 years dating back to the recession of the early '90s, that growth wasn't enough to stimulate the level of job creation and the level of income gains for middle class people that we have seen in the past. basically we're getting growth without jobs and growth without prosperity anywhere close to the level history suggests we should have. >> that 1% figure on the screen a second ago, what you're seeing
1% of economic growth, we're just not getting the same amount in job growth as we saw in the past. great article, folks, going to pick it up. thank you so much, my friend. >> thank you. one of the feel good stories of the 2012 london olympics is adding a bizarre chapter. there was a shooting at the home of oscar pistorius known as the blade runner. all police say so far is that a 26-year-old has been charged with the murder of pistorius' girlfriend who was found shot to death inside the runner's home. now, pistorius was the first amputee to compete on the track at an able-bodied olympic games. . and covered in rich double-roasted peanuts. mmm. [ hero ] yummy. [ male announcer ] kellogg's crunchy nut. it's super delicious!
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i love the fact that quicken loans provides va loans. quicken loans understood the details and guided me through every step of the process. i know wherever the military sends me, i can depend on quicken loans. all right. developing story right now. just a moment ago, there you see former secretary of state hillary clinton at an awards ceremony at the pentagon with secretary of defense leon panetta. general dempsey there with her holding the award. the first time we have seen
hillary clinton since she first left office. first time since her accident. and as you probably noticed in these pictures that we, again, just got in a moment ago, she's not wearing her corrective prism glasses. it appears as though she's able to return wearing her contact lenses. again, hillary clinton receiving an award there at the pentagon just moments ago. we'll continue to watch that and we'll have more right after the break. tely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location.
the ceo of the nra is outlining a new plan of action against gun control proposals in a new op-ed titled "stand and fight." wayne lapierre lays out his plan and explains his case for why owning a gun is not about paranoia but survival. saying after hurricane sandy we saw the hellish world. and here with some of the reaction to that on "morning joe."
>> it's about money. >> of course. >> he ain't crazy. >> he works for the gun manufacturers. >> and the gun manufacturers making lots of money. so it sounds crazy, but what he's doing is very simple. trying to scare americans and appealing to their racist side. >> yeah. >> the boogieman. >> joining me right now is msnbc political analyst and columnist for the hill karen finney and john brabender. >> good morning. >> do you agree? are there racial overtones here? >> well, i hope that isn't the intent. and i'm going to take it that it is not. but i really think the whole problem really started tuesday night with the president's speech where i believe he is leveraging terrible tragedies that have happened in this country, playing on emotions that makes good tv and standing ovations, but offered no leadership, no ideas and i think that's what a coward does. i think that resulted in an overreaction by the nra. >> but when you listen to what joe scarborough was saying and the illusions made in this
op-ed, some are saying that is exactly what the reaction might be, there are racial overtones. >> and, again, i'm not going to respond to that because i think that's whoever wrote it, that's them. i'm not going to say what could be alleged. i don't think they meant it that way. the nra has never shown a history of that. the bigger question, though, is how are we going to respond to what are rights of americans to own guns. the whole idea of a right is that you have to keep that even though some people don't like it and get to the real argument about is there going to be some type of standard that we're going to keep and protect people's rights or not. and this emotion on both sides is just inflaming it and not moving the ball forward for anybody right now. >> karen, in addition to what we were just quoting from the actual op-ed and the reaction, john lapierre mentioned drug gangs from mexico. what's your thought? >> but he also specifically talks about latin american drug gangs. that's where some of the racial
overtones come in and, john, all due respect, the president if you listen carefully to everything he said about gun safety and reducing gun violence, he has never said taking away -- talked about taking away guns from responsible gun owners. he has consistently said and said it the other night, how do we make sure that criminals, people like, you know, like the guy in california who killed three people, people like the guy who held that poor boy for six days in alabama, how do we make sure people like that don't get weapons? that's what the president has been talking about. that's what's so emotional. and his point was, talk about cowardice. and the other thing i say about the lapierre piece, it's clear, i agree with what joe scarborough said. lapierre is crazy like a fox. this is all about driving sales and membership. the whole last third of the op-ed is really -- it reads more like a fund raising letter than -- >> to that point, what's your
thought here? because he does really make that point about raising membership. he also pits those who watch individuals who purchase guns and describes those who don't as being social lepers as well as extremists. is that the way those who don't own guns view those who do buy guns? >> i don't think so. but i do think it is his responsibility as the -- as running this large organization for pro gun ownership that they do get people excited and want to be part of the democratic process and fight for their rights. and, again, going back to the president, you know, i still sit there and say why not once has he not mentioned the problem in hollywood and how they portray guns? why not talk about that part of it. the parts we can all agree on. with this keeps coming back to is the most emotional parts of things that are never going to get done. >> how many more people were killed in the last two days over the kind of gun violence?
what the president's talking about are things we could do right now that could actually save lives in the next few days. that's what he's talking about. that's why, you know, gaby giffords gets so emotional when we say let's just make sure crazy people don't get guns in their hands. >> nobody's arguing with that. everybody believes that gun owners should be responsible people who should have those guns and not go to people who mentally should not have them, not people who criminally should not have them. >> in this letter, lapierre never talks about how do we work together to make sure that people who shouldn't have guns don't have guns. the whole thing -- >> that's my point. >> lapierre isn't saying that, he's not saying let's make sure criminals don't have gun. he's saying let's make sure everybody's got the guns they need and they want. there's got to be a distinction. we know that. >> i agree with you that both sides are going towards the emotional appeal towards their members and their left leanings,
whatever it happens to be. and no one is engaging in the argument that could move this whole debate forward. and i think the president is to blame. and i think frankly on the conservative and republican side, we have a responsibility to demonstrate to the american people why our beliefs are the correct one. and i'm not sure we've effectively done that quite frankly. >> we'll have to leave it there, john brabender. thank you. making news this morning, the nightmare is almost over for more than 4,000 people stuck on a powerless cruise ship in the gulf of mexico. the carnival "triumph" is being towed to port in mobile, alabama and expected to arrive later today. live in mobile. and for the passengers onboard, land certainly cannot come soon enough. >> right. and they were thinking they were going to get in, richard, mid afternoon. it's hard to say whether this news has reached them yet, but we just received information, this is coming from carnival. and i'm going to read the short release they just sent us. it says there are four tugs
currently towing the vessel. the operation is taking longer than we anticipated. based on current conditions, we expect to be at the mobile cruise terminal between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. this evening. so you are going to have a lot of frustrated people because there's many folks who have driven here seven or eight hours to meet their loved ones who are thinking they're coming in at 2:00 or 3:00 and might be off the ship by 5:00 or 6:00. if they get in here at 8:00 tonight, they're not off the ship in 15 minutes. there's a processing system, there are 4,200 people onboard this cruise ship. this could put this operation through the middle of the night to get everyone off. now, this is just the latest update from them. we could get, you know, it could be moved up later. that's what we're hearing, richard, from carnival right now. >> thank you so much. chris is on her way back from rome right now, before she left, she filed one last report from vatican city. we'll bring it to you in ten minutes. stick around for that.
an airline megamerger is taking flight. mandy drury is here with what's moving your money. >> they're getting together on valentine's day. well, this merger is going to cut down the number of major u.s. airlines now to four. you've got the new american, you'll have united, delta, and southwest. so everyone is kind of asking, what does that mean for me, the consumer. well, it potentially means higher prices, less competition, higher prices. we'll have to wait and see. also, richard, most airline mergers have resulted in a reduction of flights and also shrinkage at some hubs. but management is saying this is different because u.s. airways and american overlap on just 12 routes. if you are a traveler, you will not notice immediate changes. it is likely going to be months for example, the frequent flier miles are combined and years
before the two airlines are integrated. in other words, don't panic. >> not yet. >> we'll move from the world's largest airline to automobiles, and you've got news on what is the most dependable. >> yeah. j.d. power is out with the annual dependability survey. in other words, who's on top and who's not. firstly, i want to say vehicles in general, richard, are more dependable than ever. if you want to rank them, you've got lexus porsche, and mercedes owners reporting the fewest problems. and on the other end of the spectrum, there's land rover, dodge, mitsubishi, and jeep who had the most problems. owners reported an average of 126 problems per 100 vehicles this is from the 2010 model year. cars about three years old. nonetheless, the number of complaints is down from last year's survey. cars are getting more kpendable. and these problems can be anything. from, you know, engine failure to dash board electronic
glitches, excessive wind noise. no matter what it is from big problems to small problems, those are the kind of things they have been measuring. >> and both luxury as well as every day brands. thank you. >> thank you. this valentine's day you might be kicking up the romance a bit. but there are certain u.s. cities that are more romantic than others. amazon.com compiled data from the sales of romance novels, relationship books, romantic movies and love songs to give their list of the top cities. number five, cincinnati, ohio, the home of disney's top couple mickey and mini, orlando, florida, miami is number three, runner-up, alexandria, virginia. so i used my citi thankyou card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up.
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during 2009 and 2010, there were roughly 1,500 reported foodborne disease outbreaks in the u.s., resulting in 29,000 illnesses, 1,200 hospitalizations and 23 deaths. the most common illness, salmonella originating in eggs, sprouts, and vine vegetables. the vatican this morning is revealing pope benedict hit his head during last year's visit to mexico, but officials deny it had any significant role in his resignation. today the pontiff has been meeting with the pastors of rome's parishes. the conclave of cardinals will meet next month to pick benedict's successor. let's bring in the former director of the office of peace, justice, and integrity of creation for the sisters of charities. sister, good to see you. >> thank you. good to be here. >> let me start with this. as the cardinals get ready to pick the next pope, what issues
would you like the next pontiff to address? in the "new york times" criticizing the vatican saying that they accused nuns of pushing radical feminist themes this from a year ago. there's also an issue of women in the priesthood. >> well, certainly the role of women in the church is a critical issue in the church today. and for the world today. and so i would whole heartedly support an expanded role and that expanded role based really on the dignity, the value, the equality of women to the men in the church. and i think if that's recogni d recognized, then women will become part of the body of decision makers and more active in the church universal and in local churches. >> do you believe, sister, that the next pope that is chosen from the conclave might move that way? and what roles as you were just describing would you see as good
roles for women to move into? >> who knows what the next pope will do or who the next pope will be. my first thought with regard to future pope was a hope and prayer really that we would have another person like john xxiii who brought us vatican council which reformed the church and it's going on today. in light of the renewal and reform from vatican that's based upon the church being the church in the modern world that the role of women needs to be recognized as it's recognized really in most major institutions of the world. i think the catholic church, the roman catholic church is probably one of the last of sexism. and whatever ways that can be rectified, i think there's a
growing resistance to the status quo today and a growing movement to suggest changes. among those changes would surely be the option for women who feel so called to be ordained as priests. i think priesthood needs to be transformed and women could help do that. i think also women's role as i said before decision makers, policy makers would be another way to go. >> at the top, at the middle, everywhere is what you're saying throughout the catholic church. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> and serving such with a foundation many would say, nuns providing the foundation for the catholic church some say as they look at the parishes, the schools, and that has certainly been discussed at length. which, then, do you think? there's been several candidates out there, would be in line with what you just discussed. for instance, there would be the discussion of a noneuropean
pope, a european pope, one from north america and i'll bring up one name from ghana. he's been getting a lot of discussion right now. do you think he would be a good choice that would be in line with what you and i have been talking about so far this morning? >> well, what i know of africa is where the church is growing quickly. one of the things that brought my attention was that he heads up the office of peace and justice at the vatican. so it seems to me that says he is in touch with the realities of so many people in the world whether they be in african, asia, europe, u.s. northern continent. and especially those who are on the fringes economically. those who are living in poverty. i think the church is at its best when it addresses economic injustice.
and it sounds like he could be the person to do that. >> all right. thank you so much. wish we had more time. sister, have a great morning. >> thank you. >> you bet. today's tweet of the day is a valentine's day wish from none other than stephen colbert. he says happy valentine's day, hope you're enjoying your flowers or chocolates or smug self-satisfaction at not celebrating valentine's day. i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! let's see what you got. rv -- covered. why would you pay for a hotel? i never do. motorcycles -- check. atv. i ride those. do you? no. boat. house. hello, dear. hello. hello. oh! check it -- [ loud r&b on car radio ]
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pope benedict xvi has celebrated his final public mass as pontiff. he presided over ash wednesday services last night. chris jansing was there and has this report for us. >> reporter: as i'm standing just outside of st. peters square, it is two weeks until pope benedict officially steps down and probably two weeks more until the conclave starts to elect his successor. we will see pope benedict publicly two more times. once he will come to the window on sunday and then on the 27th,
the day before he officially steps down, there will be thousands if not tens of thousands hundreds of thousands of people filling st. peter's here because there will be an outdoor celebration of his final days as pope. i was just inside st. peter's basilica, it is wednesday night as i'm taping this, standing ovation for the pope, a lot of emotion for ash wednesday. he received and gave ashes also received and gave communion. but it was at the end when one of the cardinals talked about his service to the church that people stood for many minutes applauding. i have some americans here who just happened to be in rome right now who were at this mass, as well. >> for me, it was the first time i'd seen the pope and it was definitely emotional. i didn't expect to have such -- him to impact me the way he did and it was an amazing experience. >> we also -- and by the way,
all midwesterners, right? from indiana, chicago. we have ohioans here. cleveland and people who are part of the church and part of the life of the church. and i'm sure are stunned as the rest of us. what did tonight mean? >> well, it was really great just to be here for pope benedict's last public mass. and it was also to mixed emotions. very sad to see a great pope go. a pope that many of us love who has done such good for this church. >> reporter: and the father who is the head of the vatican patrons? >> it's amazing to see 2,000 years of history and you look around and all the statues and saints and people have gone through all sorts of problems and challenges and historical crises. and to see now the living she i shepherd making this decision very difficult for him. and it's amazing to be part of
that, the sheep. as he leads us into the future. >> just a few closing thoughts from the mass tonight. and the pope seemed to me to be quite strong. almost someone with a burden lifted off his shoulders as he did earlier today. thousands of people cheering him there, as well and the pope was riding across the stage, speaking in a clear and strong voice. but two more weeks before he gets on a helicopter, goes and does something we have not seen in more than 700 years in the church and that is someone who retires, essentially, from being hope and was expected to lead a very quiet life. the last image i took with me before i left is that there was the papal chair sitting and it was empty and will not be filled again perhaps to the end of march. i'm chris jansing outside st. peter's square, i'll see you back in new york on friday for
jansing and company. but for now, richard, back to you. >> chris is flying back right now. thomas roberts joins us at the moment. and as you and i are watching that, it figures chris would find midwesterners, right? she being from ohio? >> i didn't want to say there was a little bit of bias. you know, they find each other. it was very cool and i know this has been quite an experience for chris. we look forward to getting her back here in new york. thanks so much. good morning, everybody. coming up our agenda next hour, the hold on chuck hagel. senator harry reid blasting republicans. we're going to ask republican senator john barrasso what republicans hope to gain from this. and the nra fire brand touching off another fire storm with an op-ed tinged with racially insensitive language. plus, the superstar athlete that everyone called the blade runner at the olympics taken into custody after his girlfriend was found dead in his home. the olympian appearing in court.
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e-trade. less for us. more for you. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. topping our agenda today, no love, anything but hearts and flowers for the president with the republicans in congress digging in over his cabinet nominee and pushing back against a prominent pillar of his second term agenda. the president is away from washington this morning. making his second post state of the union stop. he's going to land in georgia any minute where he's going to talk early childhood education. now, back in d.c., his nominee for secretary of defense chuck hagel is at the center of a senate showdown. even senator john mccain now backing away from his no filibuster stance of weeks past. the majority leader harry reid took to the floor of the last hour to make this impassioned plea. >> in less than two hours, our country will be without a secretary of defense. there is never in the history of the country been a filibuster of a defense secretary nominee.